24 April 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Bring Your Own Birthday Candle

AH, yesterday was my birthday.

My second birthday cake for the day. (yes. SECOND.)

Although it is a tad bit funny that I had to celebrate my birthday at a wedding of family twice removed (wait, its more like I don’t really know them becaue this is my husband;s side. I just never met them, that’s all.)

My mother and father in law had flown in for the wedding but of course since we live here and my sister in law lives here, its double the fun. However my husband is in this perpetual odd schedule so my husband wasn’t in the wedding. I had fun nonetheless.
As it is as an odd suggestion by my friend, I brought a small birthday candle and when they brought out the molten chocolate cake, I stuck the candle in and blew it. You know, all *this* (the wedding) for my birthday.

Steve and the Girls

Also it was great that while my husband wasn’t there, I still had a load of fun dancing with my entire family. Ah yes. We are the loud crazy lot.

As Gabi, my Sister-in-law’s girlfriend (other sister-in-law?) about bringing my own birthday candle to the wedding  said, “Stella, you are crazy. And I love it.”

See? i had a *grand* birthday!


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Go to Allthingsfadra.com and read what others have posted. And share your link there!

22 April 2011

Excellent Customer Service is King - Even In a Wired World

Except for pizza, I don’t order my delivery meals online. Sure, I have the occasional Chinese food delivery - but I usually hate paying delivery fees and tipping unless I am sitting and eating in a restaurant.

Some days, you really just don’t want to get out of your pajamas.

And you don't have cash in your wallet.

Thinking about Indian food, I went to Allmenus.com and found that a Indian Taj is there so I clicked. I am also quite impressed that their service will also let me order from a far restaurant as long as I made the minimum amount. 

About 5 minutes after I placed my order, I was called by a representative because the price of my Chicken Makhani has increased… 60 CENTS!!! And that they would be charging me 60 cents extra.

Whoa. Talk about excellent customer service! I have never felt SPECIAL after that phone call.

A couple of minutes after that phone call my food came. YAY!

You might recall that I have posted an instructional about making Papri Chat at Indian Taj. The buffet is good and impressive and I got nothing less from their delivery service.

Here's what I ordered from their delivery menu:

My food right out of the delivery bag
L-R from Top: Naan, Chicken Makhani, Tamarind Sauce, Yogurt,
Salad with Chili and Lemon (as condiment) and Vegetable Samosas.

Vegetable Samosa with Tamarind Sauce

Chicken Makhani with Naan

Disclaimers and whatnots: I found out about Allmenus.Com because I got invited to a Food Blogger Meet and Greet that they hosted. I had no intentions of blogging about them because Im really NOT into food delivery – However, I felt that I must spread the word at how AMAZING their customer service is. 

I also just discovered that you can pre-order your food in advance and have it delivered at a later time. Imagine, placing your order in the middle of the night for late lunch and you will be woken up by buzzing of the food delivery guy. It is almost better than breakfast in bed!

I like that they also have restaurants that serve Huntington, NY. Try it, they might have restaurants that serve your area!

Indian Taj
3725 74th Street
Jackson Heights, NY

18 April 2011

Dough: The Place for Holey Heavenly Doughnuts

The entire doughnut display. Not to worry, fresh ones on the way!
 See? Fresh lemon poppy seed coming in... mmm.

I finally made it to Dough after reading about it and watching a video about it. The location is not too accessible for me via public transport so I ended up getting one doughnut to have there….

Hibiscus Glaze with Dried Hibiscus Floweers Glazed Doughnut

And Four to *take home to my husband*….

L-R from top: Blood Orange with Candied Citrus,
Passion Fruit with Cocoa Nibs, Dulce De Leche with Sliced Almonds
and Lemon Poppy Seed Glazed Doughnuts

Well, it isn’t really an excuse. I am my husband’s self-proclaimed *research assistant*. He’s a pastry chef, so I can throw that excuse around.*evil grin*


Dough’s doughnuts are nothing short of heavenly. Imagine jumping up and down in a fluffy feathery mattress with feathers flying all over the place. That is what your mouth will feel when you bite into Dough’s doughnuts. They are airy, light and exceptionally springy but not chewy. Their glazes are a bit unconventional but they are very welcomed. Hibiscus? I have only had this flavor from an Egyptian restaurant as a drink but its so good on doughnuts.

A glass partition between me and the kitchen
(No, that's not Fanny Gershon)

Fany Gerson’s claims of getting a fresh doughnut? It is true. Those holey babies come to you warm and fluffy. The glaze provides the right amount of flavor, sweetness and balance.

My friends insist that I ate all of them in one sitting, it is quite a feat to do so. While they are light and airy to the bite, they sit pretty well in your tummy.

Besides texture and flavor, Dough’s doughnuts can withstand the test of time. 12 hours after I bought them they were good. 24 hours after? STILL GOOD! And they don’t need refrigeration. Just keep It in the bag/box and put it inside a plastic bag.

At 2 bucks each, I wish I could have them as often as I want. Mmm. Doughnuts!
I *NEED* to come back because I want to try a chocolate glazed one.

305 Franklin Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

17 April 2011

Capture the Everyday: Kitchen Gadgets I cant live without

While I should say that I can’t live without a knife and a chopping block – I am assuming that all kitchens would have it, so here are my three things…

Rice Cooker – If you didn’t know yet, I’m Filipino. I eat EVERYTHING with rice. I know how to cook rice on a stovetop, but nothing beats making rice in the plug and flick way.(if you click on the link, mine comes with a steamer attachment)

Jar Opener – I don’t have a strong grip and this makes me feel like the Incredible Hulk. It is like a rubberized hanky that you put over your jar which helps you grip the cover tight. Then you twist. I know of other jar opening contraptions but this stores ultra flat. Its washable too!

Kuhn Rikon Vegetable Peeler – I discovered the joys of this vegetable peeler from my husband! It’s actually his and I LOVE IT! it peels squash!! Imagine. SQUASH! Carrots? Hah! You *gently* glide this baby on it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

**btw, I do not have a blue themed kitchen. It was purely coincidence that the jar opener and peeler are blue.

Capture the Everyday from Adventuroo

Your turn!

If you want to participate, just a few things to note:

-Go to Adventuroo's blog and grab a badge, and include it with your post.

- Feel free to write about what you captured. A funny story about it. A history on it. How you’ll remember it. What will you want to remember about that picture 20, 30, 40 years from now?

- Just a picture and a caption are fine too.

- Don’t worry if you “aren’t a good photographer.” Consider this practice. Plus, it’s about capturing the memory, not a pretty picture.

-Link up to Adventuroo’s blog. And see what others have posted!

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: No Hot Water

What? No hot water? Im not doing dishes. YAY!

Well hello #socsunday!

AS my coffee perculates, im still at awe at why we still don’t have hot running water since yesterday. Bleh. I know I hate taking showers as I hate the afterprocss of drying my hair and getting dressed but I do it everyday and I cant do it with this cold water. Uhm freezing cold water. I hate doing dishes too, so it is a good excuse to not do them... YET.

Then I thought of hopping off to my friend’s house to borrow her shower but I realized she’s out of town more bleh. But whatever. I spoke to our crazy landlady and she said they are fixing it right now.

On to bigger things. Thanks to twitter (which I finally understood what its for) I have made so many profiles/resumes online via ceevee.com and snappages.com and im on the lookout for a new job.  Let us see how it turns out. In case you have anything for me, im also on LinkedIn.

I have so many things to do (like clean the house again – but no laundry) and finish my wedding album. Yes, im almost married a year now and I am still not done.
Oh time’s up.



This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Go to Allthingsfadra.com and read what others have posted. And share your link there!

11 April 2011

Papri Chat Assembly

Papri Chat Buffet
While buffets are usually easy to navigate – a papri chat is one part of the Indian buffet that needs quite a bit of a lesson in assembly. This dish is suited to the taste of the one who is going to eat it and has as many permutations as a lottery number combination. While some papri chat spreads are better than others, here’s a general idea of making your own.

First make a layer of the crunchy stuff.

Add some cubed potatoes and chickpeas/garbanzos.

Add some chicken cauliflower mix.

Add Some Yougurt and Mint Sauce

And some of the red stuff with the onions

Finish it off with Tamarind Sauce! Mmm.
Yes, it looks like a deconstructed vegetarian samosa, but better! This is just part of the buffet offerings at Indian Taj - and I assure you, the rest of the dinner is good. Cheap too!

Indian Taj Storefront

Indian Taj Prices.
3725 74th Street
Jackson Heights, NY

10 April 2011

Stream of Consciousness Sunday

Drawing, Cleaning and Laundry. These are the three things that I have to accomplish today. I also want to go to Target and get a Kinect, but im too lazy to get out of my pajamas.

at least i had 2 half donuts. one half passion fruit with cocoa nibs, and one half dulcedeleche with almonds. oh wait why did i just correct that? i forgot that the rule of this thing is no editing - including wrong spellings. must channel my energies into writing errr.. typing correctly straight or stop myself from hitting the back button and correcting my spelling.

why is it so hard to motivate yself to do household chores? i hate cleaning. my house is a mess of clutter and half um two thirds of the house is full of my art supplies and the other half is my husband's stuff. im so glad he does not have an issue when the house is not spotless otherwise i will just tell him to clean it himself.hahaha

so on to the other tasks. laundry. ugh i hate laundry! i have to dtag all my irty clothes out of the house and take them to the laundromat. when its all folded and done i dont want to do anything else. why cant my life be back to the endless couch potatoeing? hah?

time's up.



This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Go to Allthingsfadra.com and read what others have posted. And share your link there!

09 April 2011

Filipino Spaghetti Recipe Using Ingredients From American Supermarkets

Spaghetti with Hotdogs and Ham + Birthday Cake = Birthday Party!

If you tell me that there is a birthday party, you can expect that I will be counting “the amount of sleeps” before it happens. While I will be excited about the balloons and the party favors, nothing gets me to be more enthused about birthday parties than Spaghetti with Hotdogs and Ham. Forget the cake, because usually it is mocha chiffon inside *blech* but the Spaghetti! THE SPAGHETTI!!! Oh, I would think about all the twirling, swishing of the sauce and the melty cheese. I would keep the hotdogs to the side and eat them last. Aaaaah. Spaghetti! I was 6.

Spaghetti is what is mostly served in children’s birthday parties back home.  Even if it’s a birthday without a party, it is NOT A PROPER birthday without eating spaghetti. We also believe that eating noodles on your birthday will bring you long life, and it doesn’t matter what kind of noodles - but for me, nothing beats eating Spaghetti on your birthday.

1lb box of Spaghetti, Cooked according to package directions then do step 1.
1lb ground pork (beef is a good substitute, but its not the same.)
½ lb of hotdogs, sliced
1 6oz pack of cooked sweet ham, sliced into squares (the sliced ones that are square shaped, found in the deli aisle)
1 medium sized onion, Minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bottle of Ragu, Chunky Garden Combination (why? Other flavors have overpowering Italian seasoning. This was surprisingly the closest tasting one I found.)
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil
4oz Mild Cheddar Cheese, Grated

After cooking your spaghetti according to package directions,
Drain it (dont wash it - i used to). When it is completely drained,
toss 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter in it. Set Aside.

Heat up your oil. When it's hot, saute the garlic.

After your garlic cooks a little bit, add the onions. Cook until transparent.

Add your ground pork. Make sure the ground pork gets separated.
Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

When your pork has rendered out its juices but not completely brown,
add your sliced hotdogs. Keep stirring.

When the hotdogs are showing signs of doneness, add cooked ham.
Make sure to separate the ham stacks.

Keep stirring until the rest of the ground pork is browned like this.
All the flavors will be rendered by this time.
If you find it swimming in pork fat, drain out the fat.

Add the Ragu. Put about 1/4 cup of water in the bottle
to get every last bit of sauce, and pour it in.

Add some Salt, Pepper to taste and 1.5 tbsp of sugar.
If you cant taste the mildly sweet flavor, add more.
Remember, you can add but you cannot take away.
This Chunky Ragu flavor is sweet enough
that you don't need to add more than 1.5 tbsp of sugar.

Add in your grated mild cheddar cheese. DONT USE PARMESAN CHEESE.

Melt the cheese in and your sauce should turn orangey in color.
You know you did well when you achieve this.

Finish your sauce off with 1 1/2 tbsp of butter. Mmm!

Toss in with the noodles and you are good to go!
Serve with more grated cheese if you please. Happy Birthday!
I am posting this recipe, using ingredients found in regular American supermarkets because this recipe was requested by Fadra and Tammy. While you can add banana ketchup if you please, I don’t add it in my recipe because I outgrew the taste of banana ketchup. I used to pour the stuff over rice and make my rice pink. Don’t ask.

Also, I like the idea of having recipes accessible, even to people who do not have an Asian market around them. Enjoy.

Leftover sauce? Don’t throw it away. Take a piece of bread, spread extra sauce on top, grate some more mild cheddar cheese on it and toast!!